Another Family Let Down

This weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.  I think it’s just like the USA Thanksgiving, just earlier.

In my mind, it’s a time for appreciation, for spending time with family, and for giving thanks.

Historically my parents host all the kids for a big lunch.  We normally get together on Sunday, and a few times we have done our thanksgiving meal on Monday.  So, a few weeks ago I called my Dad to tell him we have a commitment on Saturday with a friend visiting from another continent.  But, we are otherwise available.  I feel like it’s been a while since we’ve seen my family as we did Easter with friends.  I really wanted to go so I thought it would be smart to let them know our schedule early. I thought I’d do this early as to not cause any problems.

Well, I wrong.

I was immediately told Saturday was the only day that would work for them and if we wanted to join we’d just make it work.  Then my Dad proceeded to say a few rude things on a different subject which left me feeling even a bit more annoyed.  In the end I said we’d try to move our Saturday commitment but I doubted it would be possible as it’s been scheduled for a few weeks around our historical thanksgiving plans and our friends travel plans.

I never followed up with my Dad, as there really wasn’t much more to say until they confirmed the time.

Well, they’ve confirmed the time, 12pm on Saturday.  Which means our day would look like this:

  • 8am – leave our home to drive
  • 12pm – arrive at their home to each lunch and visit
  • 2pm – leave their home to drive (assume we can get back out the door within 2 hours)
  • 7pm – arrive at our home

So, this is smack dab in the middle of our planned visit with our friends. So, to do this would mean no visit with our friends.

We’ve talked with our friends, they just cannot reschedule their international trip because they are booked every single day with commitments with other friends and family.  I’ve thought long and hard about the idea of going to my parents and then seeing our friends for a 9pm dinner, but honestly, nothing about that sounds like an enjoyable day.  If we do that, I think it will just end up resulting in a very tired Mr. and Mrs. MPB who have stretched themselves too think and don’t enjoy any of the visits.

So, I’ve thought about what I really want to do that day.  And honestly, I really don’t want to miss seeing our friends.  These particular friends played a big part in our lives for a number of years, I’m truly excited to see them again and I don’t know when the next opportunity will arise.  We aren’t planning any trips to China in the foreseeable future and he probably wont be back for a number of years either.  .

So I made made my decision and we are skipping the family thanksgiving.

And I’m bitter about it.

First, I really wanted to go see my family!  So I’m simply disappointed that we cannot make it work.  At times my family upsets me, but I deeply love my nephews and I do enjoy the company of my siblings and parents.

Second, and probably more importantly, once again, my Dad has left me feeling as though I don’t matter.  I politely told him our schedule and I was brushed off.  I wonder why can’t he pick a time that would mean I could attend and maybe another sibling couldn’t?  Why am I always the one who seems to get told what to do and expected to fall in line?  Why doesn’t he even try to include us?  Instead, here I am once again feeling like he planned a time that works for everyone else in the family and then simply command me to make it work.   But that’s just not going to happen this time.  Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way anymore, I’m not a kid anymore.  And as an adult, who makes responsible adult decisions, I am choosing who to spend the day with. And I am upholding my first commitment, to our friends.

Third, I want our future child to know their extended family and these types of family holidays.  I want them to know both their biological family (if it’s appropriate depending on the circumstances of the adoption) and their adopted family. (I hate to differentiate with the word adopted family, but I don’t know how else to explain that in this context).  But honestly, if our family wont even make an effort when it’s just Mr. MPB and I, what the heck is the point?  I want our child to feel loved and cared for, and yet I worry that if I’m the second class child/sibling, then how the heck will they treat our child?  It breaks my heart to even think about it.

So this thanksgiving, instead of being thankful for my extended family, I’m feeling bitter and a bit resentful towards them.  Not exactly what I had in mind.

But, Mr. MPB has decided not to let me mope around all weekend and he picked up stuff to prepare our own thanksgiving dinner this year and we’ll have a feast at home.  And, I will remind myself to be thankful for the opportunity to spend time with great friends for whom I am eternally grateful to have in my life!

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26 Comments on “Another Family Let Down

  1. That is so frustrating and hurtful! I’m so sorry. Here’s hoping your visit with friends is a good distraction from those hurt feelings and a blessing in itself. Sounds like it will be!

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    • I think you are right, the visit with our friends will be a blessing in itself! I am so very excited to see them and I really think we’ll have a lot of fun catching up.

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  2. Wow, that is super unthoughtful (is that even a word?!) and mean of your family when they knew of your prior commitment. I hope they reconsider. And I hope you have a good time with your friends!

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    • I talked to my Dad again yesterday and their plans are set. There will be no reconsidering to include us. So, I’m going to try to let go of my annoyance and just going to embrace the fun we will have with our friends.
      P.S. I think unthoughtful is a word. If not, it should be. 🙂

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      • Sounds the right attitude. I am pretty much decided on not attending the christening… Sometimes we just have to take care of ourselves!

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  3. Ugh. That is so frustrating and heartbreaking. I’m sorry your family can’t make it work but I think you are making the right decision and standing up for yourself. It sucks but hopefully this year they will realize that you are not a child and should be considered in the plans for holidays in the future. I’m sure time with your friends will be a much needed distraction. The holidays are so stressful it’s hard to enjoy them sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for understanding and getting it! Yes, hopefully the more I continue to push back, eventually they will realize that we cannot just be treated as an afterthought. And you are right, we will have a great time with our friends, which is pretty awesome. 🙂

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  4. I have the same feelings as you about what is expected of us and how we are treated within our own family. In the end what is important is that you have surrounded yourself with family, friendship and love this weekend and I think time spent with friends and dinner with Mr. MPB more than fits the bill! Will be thinking of you as we run our rat race around the countryside filling the wishes of everyone else this weekend! I will post some fall leaf pics for you!

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  5. You know what hon, I don’t think its worth crying over. You have a lot to be thankful this year, your adoption plans are approved, everything has panned well, this year was spent without any sickness for both of you and you have only the best to look forward to in future. Meet your friends, spend a lovely day with them, and just take the thanksgiving meal between you and Mr. Enjoy your last thanksgiving as just the two of you, next year there will be three!

    I am sorry that your parents are not understanding, and I know how you feel over it, but its not worth crying over because what can you do! They have clearly made their decision and that unfortunately didn’t consider your plans. Henceforth, you need not consider their plans in your decisions either. I know it hurts esp when parents do it, but let it go and don’t spoil your weekend.

    Another thing, don’t try to look into the future and imagine situations where they wont treat your child fairly, firstly its hypothesis, not even certain and secondly, its going to take your kids to be at least 3-4 years to realize what thanksgiving and extended family is all about. If you see your extended family only on holidays, its going to take your kids forever to form a bond and well, first let it get there and then you fret over it. One thing I can say, you don’t force the bond, if they choose to not bond with their grandchild, too bad, its their loss.. And dont you think its best your kids are not in an environment(if it comes to that) where they can feel they are not as loved and cherished? Do you want that for them at all?

    Sorry, long comment! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving.. eat some dessert for me! I will eat an extra serving of vegetables for you 🙂

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  6. Geez, I am so sorry MPB. I would feel the same hurt and bitterness you do. But I agree with HOH above — take this weekend with your friends and MPB and enjoy. It’s a shame your family/dad couldn’t accommodate your schedule. Seems hard to imagine why they couldn’t, but that won’t stop you from enjoying the people you’re with. ❤

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  7. I’m sorry, Hon. I can understand why you’re upset and feeling a little bitter about the whole thing. Those of us without children tend to be the ones that are expected to change our plans to fall in line with everyone else and it can be extremely frustrating. I hope that when your sweet little one arrives, they make every effort to see him/her as they do their biological grandchild.

    As far as the weekend goes, I hope you have a lovely dinner and quality time with Mr. MPB and I hope you have a wonderful day with your friends! It sounds like they are a great support to you and I think you made the right choice to enjoy the little time you get to have with them. Love you, Friend!

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  8. Hmmm i know a bit about hurtful family, being 2nd class and never seeming as important as soblings and honestly, eventually you have to think ‘is it worth it?’
    I dont mean cutting ties but instead realising its not worth beating yourself up over it. Some children are destined to play 2nd fiddle and fit in
    Im sure once Mini MPB arrives youll be the toast of the town, kids do that! Much love

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Turkey Day | Life, Love and my version of motherhood

  10. UGH. I SO HEAR THIS. Not to make assumptions about your family, but I know I have this problem with my in-laws all the time because Kevin and I don’t have kids but his brother and my sister-in-law do (they have 4). So EVERY SINGLE HOLIDAY our in-laws are damned and determined to accommodate whatever plans BIL and SIL need, and expect Kevin and me to just figure it out and get there. The worst part is that every year, SIL’s family (which is huge) makes different plans, and of course SIL prioritizes her own family over her in-laws, which means every year MY in-laws plans are different, where my family has never changed the dates or times of our events since prior to my birth. It is the most frustrating thing in the universe, not only because you feel like you aren’t being heard or respected (that alone would leave you feeling a little bitter), but also because you straight up feel like you’re being “punished” for not having kids!! (At least, I do!). I know it’s not healthy to deal in “what-if’s” or imagine how situations will play out in the future once we do have our own littles, but I still feel like BIL and SIL will always “trump” us because instead of it being “they have kids and you don’t” it will become “they have 4 and you only have 1.”

    Anyway, I totally relate to your holiday woes here, and I say forget it, enjoy the company of your friends and have a wonderful “Canadian” Thanksgiving! (Can’t say I’m a big Canadian history buff but… at least your holiday as far as I know isn’t centered around the pretense that your founding fathers DIDN’T commit mass genocide, right?) Be thankful! 😉

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  11. Oh man this sucks. So sorry you feel like second fiddle. I don’t think you need to worry now about your kids not being treated well or loved. I have a feeling everything will totally change and most of it for the better when your little bundle arrives. In the meantime- I hope you manage to enjoy yourself with your friends. Have you told your Dad how you feel? Nicely and gently of course. Maybe he just expects you to work around them and isn’t stopping to consider your feelings. Xoxo

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  12. It sounds like they have and you have made up your minds on how this weekend is gonna go. Was another weekend a possibility for your family? My in laws moved Thanksgiving a week early because I’m supposed to stay within a hour of the hospital now. I’m guessing it’s too late to suggest another weekend though. I’m sorry you’re being treated this way by your family. Luckily, there are a lot of other people around you who cherish and value your presence more.

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  13. I’m so sorry. My family does this to me, and I know how bad it feels. “This is what works for everyone, hope you can come.”. In my head, I always think, “eff you.”

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  14. Ugh families can be so complicated. I hope you enjoy your weekend with your friends and Mr MPB. Like other comments I agree that hypothesising about the future should just be set aside as much as possible. It is anxiety creating! Whenever Eric and I start getting in squabbles about future outcomes these days we always just go hold up, we obviously don’t have all the information to be making a call on this and put the issue aside. I can’t tell you how good that has been for my brain. I am so sorry your family made you feel bad though. There is nothing worse. X

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  15. I’m sorry and very annoyed on your behalf. Why do they not only always put themselves first but go out of their way to make things hard for you and the Mr?

    It may be worth looking at ‘scapinggoating vs golden children’ which is a dynamic that often plays out and may be in your family. Sadly they may perpetuate to your child.

    Family aren’t DNA, family is love and sweat and laughter and tears.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. How frustrating and upsetting for you. It’s unfortunate that your family can’t be flexible to help you out. As long as you make the decision that you are happy with that is all that matters. Sometimes you just have to create your own family of friends who are supportive and who make you happy. xo

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  17. Goodness…sometimes family are the ones that hurt us most 😦 I would certainly be frustrated as you are but I say, always go with your gut, have fun with your friends and enjoy your weekend with them! xoxo

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  18. Wow. I can totally relate. I asked my MIL yesterday what our plan was as she hadn’t said anything Found out she invited a few of her cousins over. We got an invite after I asked. My BIL was invited prior to us but had declined. If we didn’t ask, I don’t think we would have been invited. Anyway, today I found out my FIL has a nasty cold, so we won’t be attending anyway as I don’t want to risk it. Mike and I had a talk about family and tradition. He said the best thing to me, ”we will create our own traditions for our child.” I get the feeling it will be the same for Mr. MPB and you. We’ve spent way too many holidays being an after thought or having to alter our plans like you contemplated this weekend. I think you made the right choice, but it doesn’t take away the hurt.

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  19. Honey, I’m sorry. I don’t know how to make the hurt of family go away. How to justify the fact that they clearly cannot think past their immediate feelings. But I can say I’m sorry. You and your family are important. And life is short. I really hope you have a killer time with the rest of your chosen family!

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  20. Not very cool that your parents wouldn’t be accommodating to your schedules as well. That doesn’t make sense to me. I’m glad that you two have nice plans for a dinner together, and I bet you’ll have lots of fun seeing your friends this weekend. xx

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  21. I hear you on the heartbreak of not being able to spend the day with your family. It seems pretty inconsiderate that they wouldn’t even consider your request. Sometimes, family is like that, an although unacceptable, ya know, it just is…Sorry your dad made you feel crappy about Thanksgiving. I’m glad that you get to spend time with your friends! That’s always exciting, especially when your time together is so limited. Hope that you had a nice time!

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